La Petite École qui regarde la montagne
La Petite Ecole qui regarde la montagne is a microschool nestled in the heart of New Caledonia. This is the story of its birth and rebirth.
My name is Bertille, a 39-year-old mother of four, and a firm believer in the magic of childhood. I live on a small subtropical french island in the middle of the pacific ocean.
In 2015, as my first daughter approached school age, I felt a calling to create a place where children could flourish and learn to realize their dreams. So I decided to embark on the crazy adventure of creating my own school.
While I was still thinking about how and when to do it, a friend decided to join me. It was in August, and the school year was beginning 6 months later.
We were filled with ideals and a passion, and worked tirelessly to make our vision a reality.
We didn’t have any money. We started a crowdfunding campaign, made a call for donations, spent all our money, and organized DIY weekends with future parents and our friends to make the furniture. The school would be in my home.
We didn’t have much time. We called all our contacts to speed up the administrative processes. We created a daycare at our home so our children could be taken care (not far from us) of while we focused on bringing this school to life. Our days and nights were dedicated to this project, and we almost forgot to celebrate Christmas that year.
The school came to life in a record time and we were very proud of this accomplishment. We officially opened our doors in March 2016, with a little less than 20 students from 3 to 10.
I realize now that we made an audacious choice for such a small and quite conservative island: our school would be a democratic school. Children would have the freedom to learn at their own pace and follow their own interests.
But just when we thought we had done the hardest part, we didn’t know that it was only the beginning of an incredible story, a crazy adventure, which I will tell you more about in the next episode.
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